Monday, August 15, 2011
Ode to Aayla
Sunday was hectic. Ryan played guitar so he left before it was time to get any of the kids up. So again, I was on my own. I had packed most everything the night before and Ryan had ironed all of our dresses (not his, of course, but I'm sure you assumed as much). We were late. We were rushed. I dressed Ace completely and told her to hang out by the back door and not toGetMessyOrYou'llBeInSoMuchTroubleDoYouHearMeAreYouListeningSayOKDon'tWrinkleYourDressStopHittingYourSister... Sigh. Got Ameira dressed and told her the rules. Got Asher dressed. Turned around found Ameira naked. NAKED. No lie. Even the bow was taken out of her darn choppy but still cute hair. Redressed Ameira. Turned around and found Asher had barfed and therefore soaked his clothes from collar to ankle. No lie. Redressed Asher. Got everybody in the car and locked in--I mean, strapped in. Went inside to grab my bag, and yes, I may have taken a few extra minutes to find my keys AGAIN. As I was walking out the door and locking it, I heard a little voice in the bathroom saying, "Whiskers, don't bite me." Aayla had at some point sneaked back in the house to use the bathroom. I was just frazzled enough to have not noticed she wasn't in her booster seat where I had left her. Good thing Whiskers bit her otherwise she'd have been traumatized by being left alone. Got out to the car and realized Asher had soaked his backup outfit. Darn kid. Changed him. Was late for church. Dropped everybody off in their correct classroom but as I sat Asher down I realized he had soaked through the backup outfit's backup. He was stuck with a stupid t-shirt and his diaper for church. Go ahead, I dare you to judge me.
So there is the backdrop to what I am about to tell you.
Sometimes I just don't appreciate how amazing Aayla really is. When someone tells me that it is shocking that Aayla thinks through things (and tells you exactly what and how she is thinking and the exact next 5 steps she is going to take) the way she does it feels like someone just told me they are shocked the sky is blue and the grass is green. While we were in the car and finally on our way, even if we were late, I let out a big sigh. Acey says, "Mom? Are you doing alright?" Me, BIG sigh, "Yea, sweetie, I'm just really having a hard time." Ace, "I can see you are frustrated. I wish I could help you. I probably should'a been a little kinder to you. I probably should have asked you if I could'a helped you get some stuff together. Next time I will, okay? Next time I'll think about you." pause. "Can you turn on our music?" I reply, "Honey, I just really want to calm down, take a breath and refocus on God. I need to get my head straight before we get to church." Acey, "hmmm, yea. God's pretty great huh. I sure do love that guy."
Seriously. She is not even 3 and a half. She is at the beginning half of three. Sometimes she drives me bonkers, but she is so much like a peer sometimes it's creepy.
I was talking to two other moms of 3-year-olds (and I sat in the ladies' lounge feeding Asher) about the whole "crying-when-dropped-off-to-class" phenomenon and I started laughing. I had just dropped Acey off and she didn't cry! I told them how Acey went to VBS (Vacation Bible School) for 2 nights and cried horrendously each time. I drove her the 3rd night and had a loooong talk with her on the drive over. I finally got out of her that she cries, "because people are nice to me when they see I'm sad." I told her people would still be nice to her. "No, mom. They won't." I told her to just give it a chance; that just for that night she wouldn't cry and she could treat it as an experiment to see if people would still be nice. Sure enough, I picked her up from class that night and she was jumping! up! and! down! excited! saying, "Mom! I didn't even START to cry and everyone was nice! to! me!" Shocker. Their response was to look at each other a little surprised and tell me, "Wow, that's not really normal." I wasn't telling them because I wanted them to realize she was amazing, I just told them because I thought it was funny and so completely my daughter in a nut shell. I expected a chuckle out of them, it gave me a pause to hear a comment regarding how not 3-ish that was. ::shrug:: She is so unique. She has one heck of a brain.
We also got into a discussion about God, salvation, and heaven. She discussed a little with Ry after VBS a few weeks ago. She's been telling me that Daddy is going to Heaven because he believes that God is God and Jesus is dead but then alive because we are forgiven. So I took the opportunity and told her that I knew I was going to Heaven because I believed that Jesus was Gods Son and he was wholly God. That even though I am a sinner that deserved less than nothing (understatement, huh?), Jesus still chose to take my punishment for my sins and die a horrible death on the cross. And I believe that even though he died on the cross that he came alive again and because of that I can be forgiven. Because Christ took my punishment, I am forgiven. Because I believe that, I know that I am forgiven and I can live my life to please God. Because I believe that, I know that when I die I will be with Jesus in Heaven. She looked up at me and said, "Cool. I'll be there too. I believe all that too. I wonder if Meirsey believes it."
It makes my head swirl to know how to approach this whole subject. I most certainly don't want to avoid it, but it gives me hives just thinking about how to do it right. What's too much, what is not enough. blah blah blah. If I didn't care about whether she ever came to accept the Lord as her Personal Lord and Savior than I think I'd probably just go for it. However, this is so incredibly, incredibly important. I grew up in a church that was really big on Saving People and Asking Jesus Into Your Hearts. I'm pretty sure I got saved like eight times and I picked a strawberry blow-pop sucker each time, BOOYAH. I know that was just how people said it during that "era" (can it be considered an era?) and their motives were right. I also know that our kids will look down their noses as they tell us what we did that totally screwed them up... but I don't want to go down that road with her. She is a pleaser and therefore will probably get saved very enthusiastically over and over again too. I would rather tell her the gospel over and over again until someday she begs us to tell her how to be saved. I would rather have her see it in our lives--seeing us live out the gospel with our mundane life. I don't know. I think its time I beef up the "how to lead your children to Christ" section of our parenting resources. Did you know I like to know beforehand how to do things the right way. I'm kind of a perfectionist that way. But in the end, I have to realize that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. I can present the scripture and the Holy Spirit will lead her as He sees fit. I need to be faithful to speak when I need to speak, act when I need to act... and know she should be getting the "you need to be saved" conversation from my actions--not just my words. My job is to keep laying those foundation blocks one at a time.
That girl has one amazing little brain. I really do stand in awe.